LLM in American Law (for Non-U.S. Lawyers)


Program Description

Preparing foreign lawyers for global practice

The LLM in American Law Program curriculum is specifically designed to prepare foreign lawyers for the challenge of global practice. In this program, students are fully integrated into BU Law’s JD classes, where they sit side-by-side with American students being trained in the tradition of US legal education.

This means you will not only learn the substance of US doctrine in virtually any area of interest—intellectual property, international business transactions, mergers and acquisitions, alternative dispute resolution, to name only a few—but you will learn something equally as important: how US lawyers are trained to analyze legal questions and advocate on their clients’ behalf.

By the end of the year, we expect you will have developed skills to make you a more effective global practitioner. You will have gained unique insight into the “mindset” of US lawyers and others trained in the common law. You will have the necessary perspective to work across borders and transact with lawyers from diverse traditions and backgrounds.

In that sense, our American Law Program is anything but American. It’s truly global.

As a foreign-trained lawyer, you face numerous choices for graduate studies in the United States and elsewhere. Let me tell you about what distinguishes BU Law’s LLM in American Law Program and what you can expect as a member of our community:

Superior Instruction

As an LLM in American Law Program student, you will be integrated into the school’s regular JD classes and therefore have access to BU Law’s full-time faculty. Why does that matter? BU Law’s full-time faculty is consistently ranked in the top five in America by the Princeton Review. Our faculty consists of world-renowned scholars who excel not only in their contributions to legal thought, but who also excel inside the classroom as instructors. You can hear it from our current students and alumni. Many will tell you that their BU Law instructors are the best they’ve had, anywhere. Simply put, you will learn from America’s best law teachers.

Unmatched Flexibility and Choice

The American Law Program is the most flexible of BU Law’s graduate programs and one of the most flexible you’ll find anywhere. It offers an unmatched range of courses to choose from, with a minimum number of “required” classes. You will be able to:

  • Select from 200+ courses and seminars from virtually every American law subject, one of the broadest selections available at any law school.
  • Without restriction, take first-year classes (in addition to second- and third-year JD classes), covering the fundamental topics that appear on US bar exams. Not all schools allow LLM students to do this.
  • Supplement your law studies with courses at other graduate schools at BU or, enroll in classes offered through BU Law’s Graduate Program in Banking & Financial Law and Graduate Tax Program.
  • Pursue optional “concentrations” if you’d like to focus your studies in either of three important areas of global legal work: International Business Practice, Intellectual Property, and Tax.

Individual Attention and Personal Treatment

At BU Law, you will receive not only the highest quality teaching at any American law school, but also the highest level of individual support, both academically and personally. We are passionate about this. The Graduate & International Programs Office is dedicated to being your “home away from home,” ready to assist in nearly every aspect of your experience. Every student benefits from an individual study plan developed through one-on-one consultation with the Director. Academic support is readily available: classes with 10 or more LLM students often have JD “tutors” who hold weekly LLM discussion sessions to help clarify materials and answer questions; and several elective classes are offered on an LLM-only basis, a welcome option for LLM students who prefer a pace of instruction that takes into account their language skills and unique learning needs.

Professional Development and Internships

Our LLM Professional Development Office is specifically and exclusively dedicated to LLM students, providing individualized counseling and support to help them secure post-graduation internships or permanent jobs, in the US or abroad. Students interested in taking a US bar exam receive extensive guidance on eligibility requirements and application procedures. The American Law Internship Program provides post-graduation internship placements for students who seek real-life work experience in the US during their Optional Practical Training periods.

Expanding your World

As an American Law student, you will be a full member of the overall BU Law community, socially and academically—not segregated from the rest of the School. You’ll be invited to participate in any of the 30+ JD student organizations. And because we take very seriously the development of a “family” among the LLM students, you will regularly take part in social and extracurricular events that connect you with other BU Law graduate students. As a result, you will form bonds with American and fellow international students that will last well beyond your year in Boston.

A Degree with Global Clout

The superior education a BU Law degree represents is recognized worldwide. Our LLM graduates are among the most highly recruited by global firms and corporations. Graduates live or practice in over 65 countries outside America, and Boston University Alumni Clubs span the globe with international associations worldwide.

Boston—America’s Greatest City for Students

All this takes place in Boston, one of the world’s most spectacular cities. Ask anyone who has been here. There’s no place like it.

I invite you to hear from our alumni about their unforgettable experiences. They have great things to say. In fact, 98% of the Program’s most recent graduating class would you recommend this Program to an interested friend or colleague. We’ll gladly put you in touch so you can hear directly from this highly satisfied and loyal group of accomplished professionals. I’m convinced that the more you learn, the more you’ll appreciate the extraordinary opportunities awaiting you at BU Law.


Last updated Apr 2019

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About the School

Boston University School of Law is a top-tier law school that offers a wide-ranging curriculum taught by professors recognized nationally as exceptional teachers and preeminent scholars. The core of t ... Read More

Boston University School of Law is a top-tier law school that offers a wide-ranging curriculum taught by professors recognized nationally as exceptional teachers and preeminent scholars. The core of the BU Law learning experience is superior teaching and a supportive, dynamic learning environment in which teachers guide, inspire and challenge. BU Law professors are nationally acclaimed for their legal skills and scholarship, on the cutting edge in research, writing and advising to both the public and private sectors. But what uniquely defines them is their devotion to students, academically, professionally and individually. Read less